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Area High School Teachers Sharpen Their Skills at FGCU
7/2/2001

FORT MYERS, FL - As students enjoy summer vacation, 14 area high school teachers are spending their time perfecting their writing and teaching techniques at Florida Gulf Coast University as part of the National Writing Project Summer Institute.

With two weeks remaining out of the five-week session, teachers are hard at work journaling, planning presentations of their best teaching methods, polishing personal writing, and researching topics of special interest for a position paper.

Two noteworthy events have been added to the teachers’ agendas. Starting at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 5 on the FGCU campus, the teachers will learn how to create scoring rubrics (grading scales) using a pizza metaphor followed by, of course, a pizza lunch.

From 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, July 6 on the FGCU campus, they will learn how to make paper and creative ways to bind their books. This is a technique that can be used to get students excited about keeping and writing in a journal and reading.

The mission of the National Writing Project is to “improve the teaching of writing and improve learning in the nation's schools. Through its professional development model, the National Writing Project recognizes the primary importance of teacher knowledge, expertise, and leadership. ”

Patricia Wachholz, FGCU assistant professor in Educational Studies, stressed the importance of this program as a means of having teachers swap ideas and interests in efforts to excite their own students about learning. “This is really important work that teachers are doing on our campus so they can become better teachers of writing and teaching leaders within their own school communities. Too many people think that teachers spend all their summer vacationing. I can tell you that these teachers are working very hard to be the best they can be for their students, their colleagues, and their schools.”

FGCU is an accredited comprehensive public university created to address the higher educational needs of Southwest Florida and dedicated to providing a learning-centered environment that offers high quality educational opportunities. As FGCU forges relationships with educators across the area and the nation, students reap the benefits of their hard work.

For more information, contact Patricia Wachholz at (941) 590-7808 or e-mail at pwachhol@fgcu.edu. Or visit the National Writing Project website at www.writingproject.org.

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